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By Alexis Baran

The Dine Out Vancouver Festival graces plates from January 18th – February 3rd and along with three-course meals, culinary tours, classes and tastings all over the city, guest chefs from all over the world will be cooking up inspired collaborations. Each chef from abroad will be in the kitchen with a Vancouverite, and the pairs will work together creating something that shakes up the tastebuds.

Look who’s teaming up:

London, Great Britain

Chef Warren Geraghty & Chef Felix Zhou

Who: Chef Warren Geraghty and Vancouver’s Chef Felix Zhou
Where: Heritage Asian Eatery
When: January 22, 2019
Details: The two accomplished culinary stars first met working on the line at Vancouver’s acclaimed West Restaurant and later teamed up across the pond at Michelin-starred restaurant Galvin La Chapelle in London. During this one-night-only event, Zhou and Geraghty will work in tandem to prepare an internationally inspired multi-course tasting menu that showcases their respective global experiences.

Sydney, Australia

Chef Francesco Mannelli & Chef Edgar Kano

Who: Chef Francesco Mannelli and Vancouver’s Chef Edgar Kano
Where:  YEW seafood + bar
When:  January 23, 2019
Details: Though they live and cook oceans apart, Executive Chef Edgar Kano and Head Chef Francesco Mannelli share a passion for seafood and fishing, and a desire to create memorable dishes that stay true to their roots. This culinary collaboration will see local ingredients transformed by Chef Francesco’s Mediterranean influence, combined with a kick of Chef Kano’s Latin inspiration.

San Diego, California

Chef Jason McLeod & Chef de Cuisine Christopher Janowski

Who: Chef Jason McLeod and Vancouver’s Chef de Cuisine Christopher Janowski
Where: Coquille
When: January 24, 2019
Details: Chef McLeod, who is originally from British Columbia, earned 2 Michelin stars at Ria in Chicago before moving to San Diego to open Ironside Fish & Oyster. A proponent of sustainable fishing, Chef McLeod will collaborate with the team at Coquille on a multi-course, wine paired menu that offers a taste of what the Pacific Ocean offers us from British Columbia to Southern California.

Dusseldorf, Germany

Bauhaus chef team & Chef Sascha Stemberg

Who: Chef Sascha Stemberg and Vancouver’s Bauhaus chef team
Where: Bauhaus Restaurant
When: January 30, 2019
Details: Germany now has more three-star Michelin restaurants than any other European country except France. The philosophy of contemporary German cuisine is to utilize only the best ingredients and celebrating them at the core of your dish delicately balancing each flavour on your plate. Inspired by his international travels, this five-course menu crafted by Chef Sascha Stemberg will feature the best in Canadian ingredients, Asian flavors, and traditional European cooking techniques.

Montreal, Quebec

Chef Jérémie Bastien of Monarque & Chef JC Poirier

Who: Chef Jérémie Bastien of Monarque and Vancouver’s Chef JC Poirier
Where: St. Lawrence Restaurant
When: January 31, 2019
Details: Guest’s can expect a night in Old Montreal as JC and Jérémie combine their skills and experience to reflect cuisine routed in the Quebecois and Old French culture. This five-course dinner with a French wine pairing is sure to tantalize tastebuds, helping bring a taste of the East coast over to the West.

With a mix of styles in the kitchen, what will happen at these dining tables? Secure your ticket to find out.

 

 

By VisitRichmondBC.com

Around this time every year, Richmond grocery stores and bakeries are filled with towers of small, round cakes in fancy boxes and festive packaging. This is because we’re approaching the Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most important annual festivals in Chinese culture, right after Chinese New Year.

Celebrated among people from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, the Mid-Autumn Festival is typically celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth Chinese lunar month every year. This year, it lands on September 24.

What is the Mid-Autumn Festival?

The Mid-Autumn Festival is always celebrated on a day that coincides with a full moon. Ancient Chinese emperors worshipped the sun in the spring and moon in autumn, as they believed that the practice would bring them a plentiful harvest the next year. The practice entailed placing a large table in the middle of the yard under the moon, where offerings such as apples, plums, grapes and incense were offered to the moon. Moon cakes and pomelos were the most essential offerings, though. The pomelo’s skin is sometimes sliced and opened up into a lotus shape when offered as a sacrifice.

Strawberry cheese moon cake from Saint Germain Bakery |image courtesy of Saint Germain Bakery
Strawberry cheese moon cake from Saint Germain Bakery |image courtesy of Saint Germain Bakery

What’s the tradition and connection with moon cakes?

In Chinese culture, roundness symbolizes completeness and togetherness. A full moon symbolizes prosperity and reunion for the whole family. Round moon cakes complement the harvest moon in the night sky at the Mid-Autumn Festival.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is a special occasion for family reunions. When the full moon rises, families get together to watch the full moon, light up lanterns and eat moon cakes. They’re usually eaten in small wedges during the Festival and nowadays people present moon cakes to relatives and friends to demonstrate that they wish them a long and happy life.

Image courtesy of VisitRichmondBc.com
Image courtesy of VisitRichmondBc.com

What are the tastiest kinds of moon cake?

A typical moon cake is a round-shaped pastry with a thin-crust skin enveloping a sweet, dense filling of paste such as sweet bean, lotus seed, taro or a mixture of nuts and seeds. A favourite is a whole salted egg yolk placed in the centre of a moon cake, which also symbolizes the full moon. Moon cakes can also be savoury with fillings such as ham, pork floss, and seafood (abalone and seaweed).

Where to get moon cakes in Richmond

There are a wide range of beautifully wrapped, packaged moon cakes for sale nearly one month prior to the actual festival day. You can find great selections of moon cakes in local Asian supermarkets and bakeries. Some Chinese restaurants also make their own.

Here are a few recommendations:

Kam Do Bakery – 6211 No. 3 Rd., Richmond
Kirin Restaurant – 7900 Westminster Hwy, Richmond
Kuo Hua – 4551 No 3 Rd. #120, Richmond
La Patisserie – 6360 No 3 Rd., Richmond
Maple Castella Bakery – 8700 McKim Way, Richmond
Maxim’s Bakery – 6060 Minoru Blvd., Richmond
Neptune Seafood Restaurant – 8171 Ackroyd Rd #110, Richmond
Pine House Bread and Cake Shop – 4380 No 3 Rd., Richmond
Saint Germain Bakery – Aberdeen Centre · 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond
T&T Supermarket/Osaka Supermarket – 3700 No. 3 Rd., #1000

Where to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in Richmond

Richmond has several celebratory Mid-Autumn events taking place on Saturday, September 22 or Sunday, September 23, click here for more information.

 

By Tourism Richmond

End August with a joyous and delicious bang during the fourth annual Richmond World Festival. Last year’s two-day festival attracted over 40,000 people (per day!), and this year promises to be bigger and better. The highly-anticipated event takes place August 31 (4pm to 10pm) and September 1, 2018 (11am to 10pm), at Minoru Park in Richmond, and offers an abundance of top-notch entertainment, family-friendly activities, and exciting international eating opportunities.Richmond World Festival

The two-day festival, headlined by Canadian music stars Lights and Magic!, celebrates the diversity of Richmond through globally-themed programming, pavilions, and displays. Attendees can look forward to an artisan market selling unique cultural crafts, as well as a Global Village area with an Indigenous dance workshop, a roster of other cultural performances, and fun “how to” craft workshops (e.g. Japanese bookbinding). Meanwhile, the Bamboo Theatre will wow audiences with Chinese opera displays and demos, while the Africa Zone will feature vibrant artists and vendors. And, those who get hot can find a cool escape at the Antarctica Zone in Minoru Arena.

Younger attendees will love Kids World, with face painting and zany balloon making, while adults will be engaged by the media art displays that are part of “Your Digital Carnival.” Words will also play a prominent role in the festival with readings at the World of Poetry, and the Imagination Stage at the Richmond Public Library. Plus, performers, such as Desi Sub Culture, Elijah Woods x Jamie Fine, and Kimmortal, will be appearing on the Main and Minoru Stages to get the crowds energized and dancing.Richmond World Festival

With all this activity, attendees are bound to work up an appetite for global eats. A particular highlight is the event’s food program that really showcases the impressive cultural breadth of Richmond’s culinary landscape. The eating begins with the FEASTival of Flavours, a bringing together of over fifty local food trucks promising to be a huge and delicious draw. The festival within the larger festival offers a list of food that is mouth-watering and spans the globe, from Belgium waffles (Beljam’s Waffles) to west coast sockeye salmon burgers (Wheelhouse Seafoods).

Some trucks to look out for are It’s All About Grill, a Richmond Night Market favourite, with their barbecued meat skewers, like juicy lamb shoulder and garlic chicken; Jamaican Mi Juicy with their spicy Jamaican jerk chicken caesar wraps and refreshing tropical smoothies; and Kampong, a family-run business that lovingly prepares Malaysian dishes (eg chicken satays and chicken curry) like their grandmother used to make them. Other food trucks reflect a melding of culinary traditions, such as El Cartel with their Korean/Latin American/Tex-Mex menu that features bulgogi short rib tacos and bulgogi short rib fries, and, of course, the ever popular Japadog, with their Eastern spins on a North American classic. Quintessential comfort food can be found at trucks like Reel Mac and Cheese, Russet Shack, and Wings.Richmond World Festival

The copious eating can be washed down with refreshing drinks from food vendors like Benny’s Tea, Lenny’s Lemonade, and Juicy Green Express (bubble tea). Sweets from trucks like Cannoli King and Slavic Rolls will be the perfect finish to the delectable gorging. FEASTival will be a multicultural chowing down zone, with other food trucks in attendance including the Original Hurricane Potato, Sajetarian (Middle Eastern), Brazilian Roots, and Mr. Bannock.

Once guests are done at FEASTival, they can wander (or waddle) to the Culinary Stage, presented by Tourism Richmond, where top local chefs will be demonstrating their craft. Chefs with Richmond connections include Betty Hung (August 31, 6:45pm-7:15pm), a resident of the city, soon-to-be cookbook author (French Pastry 101), and co-owner of Beaucoup Bakery, where she began as an intern before ascending to head pastry chef. She bought the business with her brother Jacky Hung from Jackie Kai Ellis in 2017.Richmond World Festival

The dynamic duo Dominique and Cindy Duby (September 1, 5:45pm-6:25pm) from Richmond’s Wild Sweets will also be taking to the stage, demonstrating the extraordinary talent and science behind their chocolate and confection making. This couple is not to be missed, as they are masters at what they do, winning numerous accolades, including being ranked as one of the “25 Best Chocolatiers in the World.”

Richmond’s Banh Mi Tres Bon has generated substantial buzz for their innovative and high quality renditions of Vietnamese culinary staples. Chef and owner Lan Do (August 31, 5:30pm-6:10pm), will be demonstrating her knowledge regarding the technique, ingredients, and evolution of Vietnamese cuisine.Richmond World Festival

Chef Mike Manlulu (September 1, 4:45pm-5:25pm) from Steveston’s Britannia Brewing Co. will be talking about and showing attendees how to create west coast dishes that incorporates local produce and seafood. He’ll be part of a roster of well-known chefs presenting that includes Mark Singson, runner-up on Top Chef Season 6, Gurj Dhaliwal winner of the 2007 Superstar Chef Challenge on Food Network Canada, and Drew Munro from Drew’s Catering & Events.

These culinary demos, along with the other programming, promise to make 2018’s Richmond World Festival a massive hit. For two jam-packed days, Minoru Park will be the site of plenty of good eating, cultural sharing, and star-studded musical performances. In short, Richmond offers the ultimate global staycation for the upcoming long weekend!

By Brittany Tiplady

For the love of garlic! We’re so fortunate to live in a province that is abundant with beautiful fresh produce year round. Gear up for garlic month happening in August with this list of Metro Vancouver restaurants that have added some garlicky features to their menu, as well as a list of Farmer’s Markets so you can support local and grab your garlic to-go.

Richmond Garlic Festival

You won’t want to miss the 10th annual Richmond Garlic Festival happening August 19. Chefs from various restaurants in Richmond and Vancouver will be volunteering to present festival-goers with a grand selection of garlic-based eats including garlic ice cream. Of course the festival’s supporter, The Sharing Farm, will be selling their famous own-grown garlic as well.

Dates: Sunday, August 19
Time: 10 am- 3 pm; visit their website for more details!
Location: 2771 Westminster Hwy, Richmond, BC

Kulinarya Filipino Eatery

It’s never too early to get your garlic fix! Check out the new item on the Kulinarya menu: breakfast items featuring a garlic fried rice called a Silog.

Locations: 114 -2922 Glen Dr, Coquitlam or, 1134 Commercial Dr, Vancouver.

The Fat Cow & Oyster Bar

Dubbed as “Langley’s growing little secret” The Fat Cow & Oyster Bar is a lovable contemporary suburban restaurant serving locally sourced and ethically raised product as well as sustainable seafood. Currently on the menu is the fried cauliflower with confit garlic and preserved lemons dressing topped with crispy garlic.

Location: #4 20178 96th Ave, Langley

Fortitude

Chef Romy Prasad’s elegant Fort Langley haunt is producing beautiful, high quality plates with a focus on local produce. Don’t miss the vegetable risotto with asparagus, snow peas, confit peppers, carrots, lemon garlic and the option to add prawns or scallops.

Location: 190, 9220 Glover Road, Fort Langley

Blue Heron Creamery


For our vegan pals, this is for you! Blue Heron Creamery produces beautiful plant-based, cultured, aged “cheeses” that could fool any dairy-lover. Add some Blue Heron locally made vegan products, especially the to your next cheese board we guarantee you’ll be the favourite person at the dinner party. In light of garlic season, we recommend herb & garlic cumulus cheese.

Location: 2410 Main St., Vancouver, note that their store front is only open on Saturdays from 12 PM to 5 PM. You can also find Blue Heron Creamery products on the menu at Heirloom’s new West Vancouver Ambleside location.

Bao Down Gastropub + Raw Bar

It’s “Pacific Rim cuisine with Filipino flair.” If you find Bao’s abundant menu is overwhelming, we suggest ordering the Bao Chicka Bao Bao: garlic and lemongrass fried chicken, daikon, crisp garlic, fish sauce glaze, carrot, garlic scape mayo.

Location: 115 West 2nd, Vancouver

Gyoza Bar


Downtown Vancouver’s contemporary Japanese spot has released a new summer lunch menu that features some garlic goodness! Check out the delightful teppan bistro fillet steak: 50z of tender sliced steak, sous-vide egg, fragrant garlic rice, shiitake mushrooms, corn, and kimchi, finished with sweet soy reduction.

Location: 622 W Pender St, Vancouver

Burdock & Co


This beloved Main Street haunt, boasts a beautiful seasonal menu full of farm to table freshness. This season, check out the spring green risotto with watercress, pickled garlic scapes, peas, and pecorino, and/or the pizzichi farro pasta with dandelion, anchovy, preserved lemon and black garlic.

Location: 2702 Main St, Vancouver

If you’re wanting to experiment with garlic at home, head on over to the nearest farmer’s market to grab fresh, locally grown garlic and garlic scapes.
Here’s Vancouver’s local markets, but you can see more markets here.

Downtown Farmers Market
Thursdays at šxʷƛ̓exən Xwtl’a7shn Square (QET Plaza)

Riley Park
Saturdays at 30th Avenue & Ontario Street

Trout Lake
Saturdays at Lakewood Dr. & E 13th Ave.

West End
Saturdays at 1100 Comox St btw. Bute & Thurlow

Kitsilano
Sundays at the Kitsilano Community Centre

Mount Pleasant
Sundays at Dude Chilling Park

By Kristi Alexandra

It’s no wonder that New Westminster’s downtown hub is warming up to its nickname “Delicious Downtown.” It’s home not only to a handful of hip eateries, but to Canada’s largest-ever food truck festival.

The Royal City’s residents and their neighbours are about to get all trucked up as the annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival celebrates its sixth year on July 28, 2018. With more than 150 vendors on the docket for the mouth-watering milestone, there will be no shortage of options to treat the taste buds.

Image Courtesy of Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival

From newly-scouted trucks such as the Frying Pan (crispy fried chicken) and Taco’N Todo (authentic Mexican fare) to returning favourites like Vij’s Railway Express and Gypsy Trunk Vegan Food Cart, there’s a nosh or nibble for everyone. REEL Mac & Cheese, Japadog, Crab Park Chowdery, and Feastro the Rolling Bistro also feature on the lineup — but food isn’t the only thing on offer during the foodie fete.

C’est si Bon | Image Courtesy of Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival

Running in conjunction with the food truck festival, is a special artisan market. Tucked in the air-conditioned comfort of The Anvil Centre, the British Columbia Artisan Society is hosting more than 50 local artists. Feasters can take a break from the heat and shop for jewellery, paintings, chocolate, tea, clothing, beauty products and more.

New Westminster-based boutiques such as Mila + Paige will be styling up fashionable feasters, along with Grand Central Consignment, Inner Fire, Lofty Living, and the city’s very own brewery Steel & Oak will be hawking their suds-inspired duds.

For those who would rather lay back and relax, there are four different stages to catch some live music acts, while sipping on a draft under a shaded patio or in one of the eight beer gardens.

Image Courtesy of Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival

“Like always, we’ll have tons of bands and performers through the Arts Council of New West,” Whitfield assures, “and we’re once again showcasing the Artisan’s Market inside the Anvil Centre, and the Farmer’s Market will be part of the event.”

As if food trucks, live music, arts, and fashion still weren’t enough to entice you to strut Columbia Street during the festival, admission for the event, as always, is free!

#GetTruckedUp at the fifth annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Festival on July 28, 2018 from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m.

By Ariane Fleischmann

On July 31, 2018, you’ll have a chance to experience an authentic spread of Syrian cuisine and be entertained by bellydancers and drag performers – all while supporting a charity that ensures safe passage of queer refugees into Canada.

When Danny Ramadan first came to Canada as a Syrian refugee in 2014, he initially felt alone and out of sorts. He’s proud of his Syrian heritage and, although he was forced to leave his home, slowly but surely, Ramadan says he fell in love with his new Canadian community.

“Syria has a very rich and long history that has so many identities being accepted,” says Ramadan, who informed us that same-sex marriage was accepted and normalized in the 1800s and welcomed as part of the structure of their communities. “Only over the past hundred years or so has the community become more and more socially and legally conservative when it comes to our gender and sexual minorities.” Upon arriving in Canada, however, Ramadan says he felt welcomed: “My queerness respected.”

Wanting to pay it forward – he arrived as a refugee through a private sponsorship group – Ramadan created a fundraising event called Syrian Extravaganza in 2015. Four years later, it has evolved into An Evening in Damascus.

The evening will be catered by Tayybeh

The capital of Syria, Damascus was a city of splendour, elegance, and vibrancy. Ramadan wanted to portray to Canadians the Syria that he remembers, one of delicious food and delightful entertainment. An Evening in Damascus is designed to recreate that feeling of discovery and community.

Not only will guests be supporting a great cause – proceeds go to Rainbow Refugee to fund the safe passage of Syrian queer refugees to come to Canada – they will have the opportunity to delight in traditional Syrian cuisine and sip fresh Mediterranean wines.

The event is catered by Tayybeh, a group of Syrian refugee women who have found new community here in Canada. Tayybeh means “delicious” in Syrian Arabic, but the word is also used to impart a feeling of good nature. Attendees can expect to dine on shish taouk, a traditional chicken dish, as well as hummus and mutabal (egglplant spread), and light tabbouleh salad.

“I honestly am very proud to have partnered with those women to bring the delicious taste of food from Syria here to Canada,” says Ramadan. “It’s a mixture of heritage cooking that has been going on in Syria for years and years, that represents how detail-oriented our food has become.”

A cash bar with white and rose wine from the Mediterranean is a refreshing complement to the food. You won’t be disappointed with this spread.

Other interactive elements of the evening also pay homage to both Syrian and Canadian communities. Projected on the walls are photos and videos of downtown Damascus. Ramadan, an author and storyteller, will be sharing his story on stage. “I’m also doing a little spoken word poem about being a refugee,” he says.

Ramadan has also invited Karamella Barr and Madam Lola, two local drag queens to entertain guests. Khadiejah and a Middle Eastern belly dancer will roam the room to beautiful Arabic music.

For those who identify as queer and are refugees, there are tickets available at no cost, made possible by donation.  Ramadan wants to support queer and trans refugees from all countries, recognizing their shared experience and journey. “For me, it’s about making sure the door is open for people.”

Tickets can be purchased here.

An Evening in Damascus
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
7:00-10:00 pm
Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC

By Anna Black

The BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival is bringing a little bit of Scotland right to the heart of Coquitlam with a day full of food and festivities (including a whisky school!) planned at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, BC on Saturday, June 16th, 2018.

The Games continue a tradition started in the Scottish “old country” that was a customary part of life in the highlands. Historically, the core of the games included tossing the caber, putting the stone, throwing the hammer, bagpipe competitions, and Highland dancing. Competitions were held to determine who could best represent various Scottish clans or work for the chief or chieftain. As the economy changed in Scotland, the tradition was brought by Scottish settlers to the Vancouver area where it has continued for over one hundred and fifty years.

Although the competitive nature of the games still very much has a presence, there are also a host of other activities to enjoy at the festival, and lots to eat and drink.

You’ve seen the words “malt” and “blend” on the bottles, and perhaps you have pondered over whether to buy a whisky aged 12 years, or one aged over 40. And what is the difference between a Scottish whisky and an Irish whiskey anyways? Enroll in a class at the Highland Games whisky school to taste your way to whisky expertise.

Phat Dawgs hot dogs | Photo courtesy of Tin Lizzy Concessions

Of course will be no shortage of amazing food to sample during the festival – hearty food fit for those who are tossing cabers, hurling stones, and even for kids on the hunt for haggis . Food trucks serving up a buffet of cuisines will be on site offering everything from gourmet mac n’ cheese and tube steaks to mouthwatering bacon sandwiches, square sausages, traditional fish and chips (and poutine!) and be sure to try a piece (or 3) of traditional melt-in-your-mouth Scottish shortbread. There will also be British delicacies a plenty, with the British Store offering up a bevy of traditional offerings from lemon jelly and Devon custard to porridge oats, Turkish Delights, and more.

When you need to escape the action, and give your stomach a chance to digest, there are a variety of tents dedicated to the cultural aspects of Scotland and the Scots in BC. There are also demonstration tents where you can explore Robert Burns, kilt making, cultural fusion in the Pacific Northwest or the Gaelic language and song.

The Games opens on Friday, June 15th with an Open Piobaireachd (piping competition) at 5 PM in the TD Community Plaza at Lafarge Lake Park.  Join the pipers afterwards at the Kick Off Ceilidh Beer Garden at Percy Perry Stadium until 9:30pm.

For a complete schedule of events on Games Day (June 16th), please click here.

Getting There

Getting to the BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival in Coquitlam has never been easier. Perry Percy Stadium is located just steps away from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station on the new Translink Evergreen Line, making taking transit to and from the festival a breeze. There will also be ample parking with parking available both on-site at Town Centre Park as well as at nearby Douglas College with free shuttle transportation to the festival gate between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm on June 16th. Please note the shuttle is not suitable for children under 5.

Ticket Information

Tickets will be available on-site during the festival, payable by cash or credit card only. Please click here event day pricing. Children under six are free.

On Saturday, June 16th, come experience a little taste of Scottish history for yourself, complete with the traditions and competitive spirit that have made the games popular for hundreds of years (and counting!), not to mention plenty of yummy multi-cultural cuisine.

BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival
Saturday, June 16, 2018
Percy Perry Stadium
Town Centre Park
1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC

By Kristi Alexandra
& Mary Ann Bell

With indie breweries becoming almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks’ in Vancouver, you’d have to be wearing blinders to miss a brewpub or tasting room on any given block between Boundary Road and Kits Beach. But Vancouver’s not the only city under the influence, as the craft brewing boom has reached through Burnaby to the Valley, taking root in the communities in between.

This year, brews from outlying towns are making a splash at the ninth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 25 to June 5.

Once again this year, it seems communities outside the big city are unofficially on show. The week-long fete’s feature collaboration beer is a shared effort between three breweries found along the spectacular Sea to Sky Highway: North Vancouver’s Beere Brewing, Backcountry Brewing in Squamish and Whistler’s Coast Mountain Brewing.

In keeping with craft beer trends, this year’s VCBW signature beer is a Double Dry Hopped Pilsner. With 7% alcohol and copious amounts of Citra, Mosaic, Vic Secret and Enigma hops this beer is clean and soft, with a “powerful melange of fruit and dankness.”

Sea to Sky Country is just one area outside Vancouver that’s flourishing in beer flow — there’s a whole bevy of brewers that’ll keep you sipping during this seven-day soiree.

Trading Post – Langley

Perhaps an allusion to Fort Langley’s historic trade hub, Trading Post Brewing is all about celebrating community. “It is over a glass of that very creation, a labour of our love, where friendships deepen, family ties strengthen and community unites,” they say.

Beers they’re hawking: Dear James S.M.A.S.H Saison – a single malt, single hop saison with notes of fruit and spice; Hoppy Birthday Bock – inspired by the first beer they ever brewed, the Hop Session Lager, they’ve upped the hops and ABV on this classic style to crate a smooth, easy-drinking Northwest Bock; Raspberry Wheat Ale – sweet, strong and juicy making it seriously crushable during the summer months.

Trading Post beer | Image by Ashley Lockyer

Steel & Oak Brewing Co. – New Westminster

Steel & Oak Brewing Co. is nestled under a passenger bridge near steel and wood train tracks, the most unassuming of places, but one aligned with their brand. “Materials of strength and durability, steel and oak; house, protect and nurture what we stand for most – exceptional tasting craft beer,” as they put it.

Beers they’re hawking: Coorinna – Tasmanian pepper berries and a collection of New Zealand hop varietals create a crisp and dry, oceanic inspired saison with a touch of spice; Simple Things  – crisp, clean, with notes of honey, graham cracker, biscuit and a refreshing and lengthy bitterness; Weekend Plans Sour – light, tart and refreshing, just like you’d want your weekend plans to be. And for 2018 they added passionfruit to one batch and peach to the other … weekend plans two ways.

Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks – Richmond

With a motto like “Keeping Beer Weird”, it’s no wonder that the brewers at Fuggles & Warlock like to push traditional styles of beer to the limit, but adding a West Coast flair to each batch.

Beers they’re hawking: Destiny IPA – a light, easy-going malt profile with hop aromas of mandarin oranges, grapefruit and passionfruit that launch your taste buds into the cosmos; Gin & Lime Pilsner – a crisp, refreshing pilsner brewed with fresh limes and infused with Unruly Gin from Wayward Distillation House; Kiwami Plum Sour – a delicately tart wheat kettle sour brewed with fresh plums.

Red Racer – Surrey

Central City Brewers started out with a single silo in a brewpub and they’ve now “tapped-out” beyond their craft beer limits. Known best by their signature Red Racer beers, the brand has also come to distill high-end spirits as well as break records in beer production. “We approach our spiritual side with the same care and honour as we do with our beer” — or so their mantra goes.

Beers they’re hawking: Red Racer IPA – an iintense aroma and a long lingering finish. A beer for the connoisseur, this is the brewmaster’s choice; Red Racer Pilsner – This light and golden Pilsner has a distinct hop aroma and flavour with a dry, crisp finish; Ruby Sunset Across the Nation – Created in collaboration with Fuggles & Warlock for their Across the Nation Collaboration pack, Ruby Sunset is a delicious sour ale using pomegranate juice that is reminiscent of a west-coast summer sunset.

Mariner Brewing – Coquitlam

Mariner Brewing, Coquitlam’s first craft brewery, is driven by a desire to explore territory unknown and push the boundaries of craft beer. Instead of specializing in one or two styles, they love a lot of different types and want to offer it all … done well, of course. Look for beers ranging from eclectic to classic by merging tradition and new-school style.

Beers they’re hawking: Northeast IPA – lush malt and vibrant yeast temper the intense tropical fruit flavour making for an seriously quaffable beer; Tropical Stout – brewed for summer, this tropical stout is full of rich roasted malt, toasted coconut and blonde roast espresso from Coquitlam’s Creekside Coffee; Venture Blueberry – a sour ale brewed with 1000 pounds of local blueberries, lactose and an aromatic extract of mosaic hops that’s fruity, tart and delicious.

Deep Cove Brewers – Vancouver’s North Shore

This North Vancouver based brewery places an emphasis on providing uniquely distinctive craft beer flavour profiles using only sustainable Canadian ingredients. They provide an array of unconventional pairings that yield seamless, well-balanced beers while paying homage to the creative history of the industry.

What they’re hawking: Method – a dry-hopped pale ale that is being fine-tuned through multiple batches that has a  soft and full mouth feel from a healthy dose of oats; Sentinel –an IPA that boasts big, fragrant hop character with a balancing sweetness; Watershed Witbier – pairs the refreshing flavours of a Belgian-style witbier with the lemon-mandarin profile of the Yuzu fruit.

 

 

By Catherine Dunwoody

If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for for May 19th, 2018!

Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically.

The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival returns for it’s second year for a celebration of craft beer, local food and old-fashioned fun. The festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post Brewing Company and local is the name of the game. So local in fact, that of the 24 breweries participating, the farthest is Mission’s Mission Springs Brewery at 34 km (21 m) and the food is grown and produced in the Fraser Valley.

Image courtesy of Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival

Proceeds will, once again, benefit the Brewing Lab scholarship at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The scholarship was created by Trading Post and named after John Mitchell, who is considered the grandfather of craft beer in Canada.

Admission to the Fort Langley National Historic Site is included in the ticket price and fest-goers will have an opportunity to learn about the lives of the First Nations communities, international fur traders, gold miners, and even Hawaiians who converged on this spot 190 years ago, and where British Columbia was established in 1858.

For more information visit www.fortlangley.beer

Langley National Historic Site
23433 Mavis Ave.
Langley, BC

by Catherine Dunwoody

Friday March 23rd kicks off this annual Francophone festival and you don’t want to miss out. Musical artists, family cultural activities and of course fabulous food bring the big heated tents at Mackin Park in Maillardville, Coquitlam to life.

Festival du Bois is the largest festival of its kind in BC, bringing a little bit of Québécois culture to the west coast. Friday’s kick off includes the first-ever Friday Night Contra Dance, featuring live music from The Sybaritic String Band, Vancouver’s premier contradance band. What’s that exactly? Contra dancing is social dancing done in lines of couples to live traditional music. There’s a dance caller who teaches easy “figures” on the spot, like in square dancing, and prompts you during the dance. Fun!

Traditional poutine at the festival | Image courtesy of the Festival du Bois

But since we are all about the food here at WestCoastFood, we are super stoked about the booth at the festival where they sell cuisine traditionnelle. Try the pea soup, or go whole hog with the lumberjack plate, complete with traditional tourtière, pork and beans, coleslaw, bread and pate. Sweet tooth? Tuck into a slice of sugar pie, a favourite Quebecois dessert or stop at the André Beauregard Sugar Shack for maple taffy on snow.

Grab some tickets to the pancake and maple syrup breakfast Sunday at 10am for $7 adults, $3 children – but do note that this doesn’t include admission to the festival site itself.

On Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25, musical groups include Le Vent du Nord, Bon Débarras, Les Chauffeurs à pieds, Mazacote, Gabriel Dubreuil, Jacky Essombe, Blackthorn, Podorythmie, Alouest, Boris Sichon, André Thériault, Alphonse et Lola and Vazzy.

Get schooled on Maillardville’s history at the “post office”, shop at the artisan kiosks carrying all kinds of crafts, and plan to stop at at C’est si Bon, a local food truck serving brioche sliders served with their famous pommes dauphines, crêpes, beef bourguignon, and pastries.

Maple Taffy | Image courtesy of the Festival du Bois

To fully embrace the spirit of the festival be sure to wear your plaid to honour the lumberjack heritage of the community and celebrate its French-Canadian pioneering history. And while you look the part, why not try your hand at axe throwing with the Axewood Crew, a fully mobile axe throwing experience?

In addition to the grand chapiteau (main stage – big tent) where the music will rock you day and night, pop by the children’s tent (petit chapiteau) in the zone jeunesse (youth zone), and the workshop tent (tente de ateliers), plus the folk jam tent where you get to play along, the improv tent, and pioneers tent.

Francophone family fun!

For tickets and information visit www.festivaldubois.ca.

By Alexis Baran

I dare you to put a jellyfish in your mouth. Double dare! The Blue Water Café makes it easy to brag about your culinary audacity this February with the Unsung Heroes Festival.

The “heroes” of the festival are the locally plentiful, sustainable, yet overlooked and delicious seafood that North American menus have often forgotten. Barnacles for example (yes, those sharp little guys who dig into your bare feet on the beach) actually come in many varieties. Gooseneck barnacles, sourced from Clayoquot sound, have a soft stalk that Executive Chef Frank Pabst has featured in previous years. This year the oddball star of the show is red sea cucumber, a soft creature who lives on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean down to 250 m (820 ft). Try the red sea cucumber “hot dog style” with Asian pear and sweet pepper relish and uni miso mustard on a nori bun.

unsung-heroes2
Grilled octopus | Photo: John Sherlock

If you enjoy French escargot, try one of the west coast versions this year. Whelk are ocean snails, which Pabst is poaching with BC endives, slow cooked ham, and mornay sauce.  Limpets are also ocean snails with a cone-like shell (they look a bit like barnacles), which you can try in a paella.

For those who frequent Asian restauraunts, some of these ingredients may already be favorites. Jellyfish, sea urchin, fish roe and smelt, all of which will be on offer, are regulars in global cuisine that are underutilized on west coast contemporary menus, and any squeamish tendencies toward these can be conquered with mind-over-matter since each is locally sourced, sustainable, and has been prepared and eaten as a part of family meals for thousands of years.

An easy one to start with is smelt – just tiny little fishes with mild-tasting white meat. Just because they are usually served whole, doesn’t mean you have to eat the head (though you definitely can!) Pabst will be frying them to a crisp and serving them in tacos this year.

During the festival, the sustainable seafoods become heroes in more ways than one – ten percent of the proceeds of the Unsung Heroes Festival go to the Ocean Wise sustainable seafood program, which works with restaurants to promote sustainability all year round.

Photo: John Sherlock
Sesame-marinated jellyfish | Photo: John Sherlock

Now, let’s get back to that jellyfish dare. During February, jellyfish will be served with kimchi, braised chicken, onion and carrot.  Give it a try, share it with a friend, and get adventurous.

The Unsung Heroes Festival is on this year from February 1 – 27, 2018

Blue Water Café
1095 Hamilton, Vancouver
www.bluewatercafe.net

By Winnie Tam

Is there ever a combination better than food and wine? I think not.

On November 4 -5, you can sample local and international foods and more than 200 wines from around the world all under one roof at the inaugural TriCity International Food & Wine Festival.

Taking place at the beautiful Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club in Coquitlam, the festival features two tasting rooms – an Italian-themed room that will have wines from 15 Italian wineries plus an array of Italian food such as bruschetta, cheeses and cannoli; and an international tasting room with wines offered by 50+ wineries from over 10 countries including Argentina, France and Chile, and yummy nibbles like tuna poke, beef sliders and sweet and savoury breads. Guests can walk through the two tasting rooms and sample to their hearts’ content.

The festival’s all-inclusive entry fee means that there are no painful decisions to make about what to sample and what to leave out – you can enjoy all the food, wine and beverage samples offered in the two tasting rooms without the need to buy additional tokens.

Event organizers have carefully positioned the vendors with food and wine matching in mind so you’ll have a nice balance of both as you move through the two rooms. If all of this doesn’t give you enough reason to go, the TriCity International Food & Wine Festival is a charity fundraiser in support of Team Taylor with the Ride to Conquer Cancer, one of the top fundraising teams for the BC Cancer Foundation.

To get your tickets to this delicious event or for more information, visit tricitywinefestival.com.

By Catherine Dunwoody

Back for its third year, New Westminster, BC is once again hosting its culinary showcase Feast on the Fraser taking place September 22 to October 1, 2017.

Ten days of delicious tastings, cocktail parties, food tours and long table dinners are yours for the taking, but make special note in your calendars for these themed parties: Mad Men Mixer at Mid-Century Modern Home Store, a Speakeasy Prohibition Gala at 100 Braid Street Studios, a Beauty and the Beast children’s tea party and a Canada 150-themed dinner cruise on a paddleboat on the Fraser River.

Image courtesy of Tourism New Westminster

The entire festival champions local restaurants and local ingredients from the Fraser Valley, withTej Kainth, executive director of Tourism New Westminster, summing it up well: “It’s creating these cool collaborations between chefs and producers and the unique spaces we have in New West. Our events are smaller and more intimate, to give visitors a real taste of what we have to offer here.”

Image courtesy of Tourism New Westminster

Can’t wait? Early birds will want to get in on “Piva on the Pier” on September 14, the opening event for much anticipated modern Italian restaurant Piva, located in downtown New Westminster’s riverfront.

Visit feastonthefraser.com for a complete list of events and tickets.

By Catherine Dunwoody 

It was only a matter of time until The Heights in Burnaby claimed their very own neighbourhood dining showcase.

The festival takes place smack in the middle of summer, August 16-30, 2017 for two weeks of daily deals and special features, entertainment and more. Every day each restaurant and eatery has a different special; some are offering new menu items created just for Crave, while others are doing special happy hour features or after-dinner desserts.

Image by Michele Mateus Photography

The Heights will come to life with live music and street buskers along their section of Hastings Street, opting for an urban, summer atmosphere you just can’t recreate any other season. “The Heights is a special place, rich in multiculturalism,” remarked Isabel Kolic, executive director of the Heights Merchants Association, “Crave is a perfect way to not only experience this strong sense of culture, but also to discover the variety of amazing eateries available in the Heights. We’re expecting this event to continue to grow.”

Participating restaurants are plenty, and include Chez Christophe, Glenburn Soda Fountain, Cioffi’s Cucina, and Gray Olive Cafeteria.

Highly acclaimed The Peartree is anticipated to create a seasonal Crave set menu by Chef Scott Jaeger for $50, as is Cristos Greek Taverna, La Villetta, Baci Ristorante, and Butcher’s Block BBQ.

Image by Michele Mateus Photography

Happy Hour drink specials are being offered by La Villetta, Sfinaki, Anton’s, Chad Thai, and Cristos. And did we have you at dessert?

Nuvola Gelato (only a year old) is owned by Giorgio Barassi, winner of the BEST NEW GELATO award in Cefalu, Italy, in 2012, and serves scoops of local, seasonal, and organic deliciousness. Chez Christophe now features in-house brewed Ginger Mint Tea and Basil Berry Tea for summer, on top of their chocolate collection. Christophe Bonzon is a Swiss trained Pastry Chef/Chocolatier.

#CraveTheHeights | Image by Michele Mateus Photography

Social media savvy? Use #CraveTheHeights in your Instagram posts to be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to the Heights restaurant of your choice. And diners also get a chance to win a $500 Heights prize package by entering online.

Be sure and check out Crave the Heights coming soon, details right here: CraveTheHeights.com

By Anna Black

If you’re looking for something fun and different to do in historic Downtown New Westminster, then be sure to check out Fridays on Front, a free family-friendly event.

A brand new weekly community experience that launched July 7th, 2017, Fridays on Front runs every Friday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm until August 27th along Front Street in New Westminster. The event takes place in the 600-block of Front Street, which has recently been transformed into a modern, pedestrian friendly walkway that still retains a sense of industrial character.

Image courtesy of Tourism New West

The fully licensed event offers visitors artisan, farm, meat, baked goods, and dairy vendors from New West Farmers Market and New West Craft, live music from the New Westminster Arts Council, and food trucks from the fifth annual Columbia StrEAT Food Truck Fest (happening July 29th from 4 pm – 10 pm). This includes Vancouver’s first bar truck, the Vagabond Bar Truck, which will be serving up Steel & Oak beers on tap.

Image courtesy of Tourism New West

Visitors to past Fridays on Front have been treated to Air Canada En Route People’s Choice award winner, Vij’s Railway Express, the mouthwatering authentic recipes of Thai Box on Truck, and the dessert delicacies of Rocky Point Ice Cream. Cheeses Crust was also on hand with their signature Bacon Bomb and Cheese Steak alongside food truck staples Brazilian Roots and Japadog. So, if you’re in the mood for Butter Chicken Schnitzel, Green Curry, a real fruit smoothie, an amazing grilled cheese, or more, come hungry!

Needing a caffeine pick-up after a long day? Be sure to stop by Old Crow Coffee, a well-loved local coffee house, open until 8 pm during Fridays on Front. Or, if you’re in the area early, and love everything wine, New Westminster’s very own award-winning Wine Factory offers a chance to explore over 250 wines from across the globe. Raincity Juicery, open until 6 pm, offers healthy and tasty cold-pressed organic juices perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot summer night. For a complete list of participating Front Street businesses, please click here.

Fridays on Front is conveniently located near the New Westminster and Columbia Street Skytrain stations with entry via McKenzie Street and Columbia Street.

The friendly Tourism New West info booth | Image courtesy of Tourism New West

Drink tickets can be purchased from the cashier stations along Front Street with cash or credit card only. Don’t forget your ID!

Fridays on Front – ongoing until August 25, 2017
Friday evenings from 5 PM – 8 PM
600-block of Front Street, New Westminster
http://downtownnewwest.ca/Fridays-on-Front

By Jaclyn Jularbal

Wednesday, June 21st marks the 21st Annual Celebration of National Aboriginal Day. Each year, thousands of people head to Vancouver’s Trout Lake Park for a fun-filled day of both traditional and contemporary Indigenous activities, entertainment, and food.  And what would a community gathering be without a mouth-watering, stomach-filling feast? With food trucks, caterers, and bannock makers on site – come hungry and get ready to journey into the tastiest National Aboriginal Day festival of all time.

Great gatherings start with great food, and this year the PR Bannock Factory will join the festivities as the featured caterers serving a community favourite: Chef Paul Natrall’s bannock tacos.

For the first time ever, the National Aboriginal Day at Trout Lake site map includes a food truck village open all day from 12pm to 10pm. Park visitors can enjoy plenty of street eats both savory and sweet, full of pizza, poutine, pierogies, and pastries.  Some food trucks are even offering special celebration menu items that commemorate the day – with ingredients like juniper berries, bison, and wild salmon on the menu.

Enjoy eats from morning to night with these local food trucks that are sure to satisfy all your cravings: The Bannock Wagon, Big Red’s Poutine, The Cannoli King, Community Pizzeria, C’est Si Bon, Flying Fish N Chipper, Old Country Pierogi, REEL Mac and Cheese, Say Hello Sweets, and Slavic Rolls.

If you’re heading to the festival for homemade bannock, don’t panic! From 12pm to 6pm the TWN Business Administration Program from Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations will be on site whipping up family recipes as they fundraise to “assist all Aboriginal People with their Training & Employment needs,” as stated on their website.  Enjoy a warm piece of bannock as you wander through the vendor area enjoying the many paintings and crafts made by talented local artists. The Bannock Wagon food truck is also a great option with fresh bannock pieces, sandwiches and desserts served all day long.

Witness the diverse cultures and traditions of Canada’s Indigenous people and join the celebration! Take a canoe tour of Trout Lake, join a mini traditional Pow Wow, witness the talented Git Hayetsk dancers, and spend the evening enjoying Aboriginal Day Live in the park. With events planned for the whole family, there’s plenty to eat so you can keep fuelled all day long.

Wednesday June 21, 2017
Trout Lake, 3300 Victoria Dr.
Vancouver, BC

For information about the day visit: National Aboriginal Day at Trout Lake or Aboriginal Day Live

By Anna Black

The BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival is bringing a little bit of Scotland right to the heart of Coquitlam with a day full of food and festivities (including a whisky school!) planned at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, BC on Saturday, June 17th, 2017.

The Games continue a tradition started in the Scottish “old country” that was a customary part of life in the highlands. Historically, the core of the games included tossing the caber, putting the stone, throwing the hammer, bagpipe competitions, and Highland dancing. Competitions were held to determine who could best represent various Scottish clans or work for the chief or chieftain. As the economy changed in Scotland, the tradition was brought by Scottish settlers to the Vancouver area where it has continued for over one hundred and fifty years.

Although the competitive nature of the games still very much has a presence, there are also a host of other activities to enjoy at the festival, and lots to eat and drink.

You’ve seen the words “malt” and “blend” on the bottles, and perhaps you have pondered over whether to buy a whisky aged 12 years, or one aged over 40. And what is the difference between Irish and Scottish whiskies anyways? Enroll in a class at the Highland Games whisky school to taste your way to whisky expertise.

Phat Dawgs hot dogs | Photo courtesy of Tin Lizzy Concessions

Of course will be no shortage of amazing food to sample during the festival – hearty food fit for those who are tossing cabers, hurling stones, and even for kids on the hunt for haggis . Food trucks serving up a buffet of cuisines will be on site offering everything from authentic Australian meat and veggie pies and desserts, mouth-watering grilled cheese, and tube steak to gourmet mac n’ cheese, out of this world hot dogs, and traditional fish and chips (and poutine!). There will also be British delicacies a plenty, with the British Store offering up a bevy of traditional offerings from lemon jelly and Devon custard to porridge oats, Turkish Delights, and more.

When you need to escape the action, and give your stomach a chance to digest, there are a variety of tents dedicated to the cultural aspects of Scotland and the Scots in BC. There are also demonstration tents where you can explore Robert Burns, kilt making, cultural fusion in the Pacific Northwest or the Gaelic language and song.

The Games opens on Friday, June 16th with an Open Piobaireachd (piping competition) at 5 PM in the Highland Village on Percy Perry field.  It will be followed at 7 PM by a VIP/Highland Reception open to the public (for a fee). For a complete schedule of events on Games Day (June 17th), please click here.

Parking Information

Getting to the BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival in Coquitlam has never been easier. Perry Percy Stadium is located just steps away from the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station on the new Translink Evergreen Line, making taking transit to and from the festival a breeze. There will also be ample parking with parking available both on-site at Town Centre Park as well as at nearby Douglas College with free shuttle transportation to the festival gate between 11:30 am and 7 PM on the June 17th. Please note the shuttle is not suitable for children under 5.

Ticket Information

Online Early-Bird ticket sales for the BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival are available through Eventbrite until May 31, 2017 at 11:59 AM. Tickets will be available after the Early Bird deadline on-site during the festival, payable by cash or credit card only. Please click here for Early Bird and event day pricing. Children under six are free.

On Saturday, June 17th, come experience a little taste of Scottish history for yourself, complete with the traditions and competitive spirit that have made the games popular for hundreds of years (and counting!), not to mention plenty of yummy multi-cultural cuisine.

BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Percy Perry Stadium
Town Centre Park
1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam, BC

By Kristi Alexandra

With indie breweries becoming almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks’ in Vancouver, you’d have to be wearing blinders to miss a brewpub or tasting room on any given block between Boundary Road and Kits Beach. But Vancouver’s not the only city under the influence, as the craft brewing boom has reached through Burnaby to the Valley, taking root in the communities in between.

This year, brews from outlying towns are making a splash at the eighth annual Vancouver Craft Beer Week, running from May 26 to June 4.

“We keep growing and changing every year because we want to create this beer experience that all of us want to experience ourselves,” says co-founder and events director Leah Heneghan.

This year, it seems communities outside the big city are unofficially on show. The week-long fete’s feature collaboration beer is a shared effort between the four breweries that dot Port Moody’s Brewer’s Row: Yellow Dog, Twin Sails, Moody Ales, and Parkside.

Dubbed “Hazy Pale”, VCBW’s signature beer is a hazy pale ale infused with passionfruit and guava – a perfect tithing to summertime. But Port Moody’s not the only city outside Vancouver flourishing in beer flow — there’s a whole bevy of brewers that’ll keep you sipping during this seven-day soiree.

Trading Post – Langley

Perhaps an allusion to Fort Langley’s historic trade hub, Trading Post Brewing is all about celebrating community. “It is over a glass of that very creation, a labour of our love, where friendships deepen, family ties strengthen and community unites,” they say.

Beers they’re hawking: Dear James S.M.A.S.H Saison – a single malt, single hop saison with notes of fruit and spice; Three Bears Breakfast Stout – an oatmeal stout with a strong raspberry flavour will have you feeling just right; West Coast IPA – a traditional West Coast India Pale Ale with tropical fruit fused into Pacific North West pine.

Trading Post beer | Image by Ashley Lockyer

Central City Brewers + Distillers – Surrey

While these brewers started out with a single silo in a brewpub, they’ve now “tapped-out” beyond their craft beer limits. Known best by their signature Red Racer beers, the brand has also come to distill high-end spirits as well as break records in beer production. “We approach our spiritual side with the same care and honour as we do with our beer” — or so their mantra goes.

Beers they’re hawking: Red Racer Amber Ale – From their award-winning line, a blend of Chinook and Centennial hops make a coastal-inspired brew with citrus and pine flavours.

Dageraad Brewing – Burnaby

Brewing up small-batch artisan beers reminiscent of the Dageraadplaats, a neighbourhood square on the east side of Antwerp, Belgium, Dageraad Brewing is a traditional throwback to beer culture from its point of inception.

Beers they’re hawking: Dageraad Blonde – a fruity, spicy, and bubbly blonde with a touch of caramelized sugar sweetness and a floral crown. Just like a dame at Coachella; Dageraad White – a creamy, citrusy wheat ale traditionally from the Brabant region of Belgium.

Steel & Oak – New Westminster

Steel & Oak Brewing Co.  is nestled under a passenger bridge near steel and wood train tracks, the most unassuming of places, but one aligned with their brand. “Materials of strength and durability, steel and oak; house, protect and nurture what we stand for most – exceptional tasting craft beer,” as they put it.

What they’re hawking: Roselle – Hibiscus and rose hips create a crisp and refreshing wheat ale packed with floral notes, banana, raspberry and a touch of spice; Shiny Things IPA – Hallertau Blanc, Huell Melon, and Mandarina Bavaria hops add a new age German twist on this juicy IPA. They seem Oktoberfest-ready; Weekend Plans Sour – light, tart and refreshing, just like you’d want your weekend plans to be. Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial hops with an oat malt.

Image courtesy of the Steel & Oak blog

Dead Frog Brewery – Aldergrove

This award-winning craft brewery from the Fraser Valley caught the attention of drinkers with their slogan “Nothing goes down like a cold, dead frog.” While the comparison is questionable, nothing beats this brewery’s creativity.

Beers they’re hawking: Blueberry Blast – a crisp sour wheat ale bursting with flavours of lemon and fresh local blueberries; Green Magic – a coastal-style IPA with citrus and pine for a crisp finish; Tropic Vice – a refreshing golden ale brimming with flavours of mango and passion fruit, and channeling ‘80s TV cop drama vibes.

Field House Brewing – Abbotsford

Located in Abbotsford on a “magical beer lawn with an outdoor stage,” where musicians are invited to perform weekly, Field House Brewing Co. sounds like the stuff of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their rotating tap is called the Adventure Tap, and we imagine it always tastes like something out of a Celtic folk tale.

What they’re hawking: Dark Brett – a “dark-as-dusk beer” with dank but citrusy flavours; Light Brett – a sunny alternative to the Dark Brett with white wine and stone fruit notes; Sour Wheat Gose – a 16th century-style German salted sour wheat ale with coriander and elderflower, brewed with hand-harvested sea salt by Vancouver Island Salt Co.

By Catherine Dunwoody

If you have ever spent time in BC’s charming Fort Langley then you know that hosting an annual food and beer festival just seems like a natural fit. Be sure and mark your calendars for May 20tt, 2017!

Fort Langley’s old-timey streets are a mix of pleasant restaurants, quaint shops and there is a cozy neighbourhood feel that’s hard to capture unless it just comes about organically.

The Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival is the dreamchild of Fort Langley’s own Trading Post  Brewing Company, and the aptly put slogan, “tap into the local” says it all. This first-time festival will feature fabulous local food and craft beer from the Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley, plus live music and more.

Image courtesy of Fort Langley Beer & Food Festival

At the Fort Langley National Historic Site, fest-goers will have an opportunity to learn about the lives of the First Nations communities, international fur traders, gold miners, and even Hawaiians who converged on this spot 190 years ago, and where British Columbia was established in 1858.

Some 20 breweries and 20 food vendors are expected to participate, and proceeds will benefit the Brewing Lab scholarship at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The scholarship was created by Trading Post and named after John Mitchell, who is considered the grandfather of craft beer in Canada.

For more information visit www.fortlangley.beer

Langley National Historic Site
23433 Mavis Ave.
Langley, BC

By Catherine Dunwoody

This year’s Dining Out For Life fundraiser takes place on Thursday, March 30, and restaurants participating go well beyond Vancouver.

The annual event is now in its 23rd year raising funds to support local men, women and kids affected by HIV/AIDS. Restaurants across the Lower Mainland that are involved will donate 25% of their food sales to the cause. That means when you enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the partners, you’re doing a good thing.

Image courtesy of Burgoo, Vancouver’s North Shore

Restaurants like The Old Bavaria Haus in New Westminster, Burgoo on Vancouver’s North Shore and Bravo in the Fraser Valley are part of the list of eateries who will continue to raise funds. Over the past 23 years, Dining Out For Life has raised over $3 million, with proceeds directly benefiting the programs and services provided free-of-charge by registered not-for-profit A Loving Spoonful.

Image courtesy of The Old Bavaria Haus, New Westminster

If you’re not familiar with A Loving Spoonful, they do a whole lotta good things in our community. Like deliver an average of 100,000 meals per year to folks who really need a helping hand and a hot meal. Here’s something to think about: 70% of the families on the service are headed by a single mother.

An up-to-date list of participating restaurants is available at www.diningoutforlife.ca.

by Catherine Dunwoody

Here’s fun Dine Out Vancouver idea: Book brunch or lunch at one of the participating restaurants and stay the night before at a nearby Vancouver hotel. Remember the festival ends February 5th so make your reservations now!

Brunch Crawl – East Village
January 28, by Vancouver Foodster, this event starts at 10am and during the course of four hours, you’ll visit several restaurants in Vancouver’s East Village neighbourhood (Hastings/Sunrise to Grandview/Woodland) sampling everything from smoothies to brunch pizza. Book online.

Hotel pairing: Waldorf Hotel at 1489 E Hastings Street is also your meeting place for the crawl. Roll out of bed, into the lobby and boom – brunch tour begins.

Explore BC Wine Brunch at Boulevard

On Saturday, February 4 at 11 a.m., brunch-lovers can taste some of BC’s best wines paired with Executive Chef and 2015 BC Gold Medal Plates Champion Alex Chen’s delicious fare. The stand-up, grazing format will have seven winery stations, and seafood-focused canapés. Purchase online.

Hotel pairing: The Sutton Place, 845 Burrard Street, is the adjoining hotel to Boulevard. Since you’re right downtown strolling off a big meal with lots of good wine while you window shop down Robson or Alberni streets should make for a delightful afternoon.

Image by Vision Event Photography courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

Vancouver’s Best Roasting, Coffee & Beer Tour
Perhaps a hot cuppa Joe or a hair of the dog is all you can stomach on a weekend morning? Vancouver Coffee Snob & Canadian Craft Tours gets that. On January 28 and February 4, Canadian Craft Tours and the Vancouver Coffee Snob will take you on a carefully curated tour of two of the city’s best coffee stops, followed by a visit to one Vancouver’s best craft breweries.

Hotel pairing: Since you will be starting the tour at Canada Place Bus Zone – 999 Canada Place, why not book a room at the Pan Pacific Hotel right next door?

Explore BC Wine Brunch at Hart House Restaurant
Wines of British Columbia partnered up with this iconic Burnaby restaurant to host their event January 28. Four of BC’s top wineries will pair up perfectly with Pacific Northwest cuisine by Executive Chef Mike Genest. Expect mini eggs Benedict, wild mushroom frittata, and brioche French toast. Purchase tickets.

Hotel pairing: Element Vancouver Metrotown is the first Element Hotel in Western Canada, right in Burnaby. A little brunch, a little shopping – perfect.

The Dine Out Vancouver Festival also has special hotel rates and Dine & Stay packages that are only available until February 5th starting at $110 CAD per night (approx. $85 USD).  Find out more here.

By Kristi Alexandra

It’s one of New Westminster’s most iconic landmarks — the catch is it isn’t always on land. Returning gourmands will be all aboard the Paddlewheeler, the 100-passenger, authentic replica of a sternwheeler that would have worked the mighty Fraser in British Columbia in the mid-19th century and beyond.

Part-epicurean and part-history, the dinner cruise, held October 1st, 2016, is a highlight for the second-annual Feast on the Fraser event put on by Tourism New Westminster.

Kicking off on Sept. 23, the 10-day Feast on the Fraser festival features locally-inspired menus from participating Royal City restaurants — not the least of which includes the back-by-popular-demand dinner cruise.

New Westminster Quay | image by waferboard via Flickr
New Westminster Quay | image by waferboard via Flickr

“While New Westminster is already well known as a food destination in the Lower Mainland, this is a great way to showcase the city’s diverse restaurants – and flavours of the Fraser Valley – in a tasty and creative way,” says Tej Kainth, executive director of Tourism New Westminster.

“The business community loved Feast on the Fraser [last year], because it gives them a chance to collaborate with each other,” Kainth continues. With local restaurants pairing up with businesses in the arts, culture, and heritage sectors, each event is a nourishing experience for body and mind.

As it promises to be, the scenic Fraser River Dinner cruise, which is run in conjunction with the Paddlewheeler Riverboat Tours, is an imaginative affair that incorporates both New Westminster’s cultural heritage and its local flavour palate.

On board, diners can expect Fraser Valley harvested flavours such as Fraser Valley chicken dishes, locally grown butter lettuce salad, along with pumpkin pie topped with Tre Galli gelato for dessert, and wine by Domaine de Chaberton. That’s not to mention the rolling twilight views of New Westminster Pier Park, the 1904 railway bridge, and the tip of Douglas Island.

“We all know the best flavours are fresh flavours,” says Allison Colthorp, executive director of Tourism Chilliwack. “And that is why The Fraser Valley Group is so excited to be the flavour sponsor of this year’s Feast on the Fraser – where better to get fresh, local, in season products than right at home, where they are grown.”

For more information – or to get your tickets – for the dinner cruise or one of the other experiences at this exciting 10-day culinary event, visit the Feast on the Fraser website. For every event ticket purchased or dine-in experience, you get an entry to win the Ultimate Fraser River Experience, with more than $2000 worth of gift certificates or experiences.

By Ashley Lockyer

Take a gourmet stroll off the beaten path, spend the afternoon with top chefs, and leave filled with stories of food and the people that bring it to life. Local culinary celebrations don’t get bigger than the annual Feast of Fields festival, held this year at Laurica Farm and Fraser Common Farm in Langley. Once you wander through the gates (and past some goats and pigs), British Columbia’s food and beverage artisans await to offer a complete taste of the region.

A cool take on the classic Ploughman’s Table: local charcuterie and preserves meet ice sculpture from the Pier 73 restaurant at the Pacific Gateway Hotel.
A cool take on the classic Ploughman’s Table: local charcuterie and preserves meet ice sculpture from the Pier 73 restaurant at the Pacific Gateway Hotel.

Guests meander between tents and sample dishes that highlight local produce, prepared by more than 50 restaurants, farmers, and beverage crafters. Live music, orchards, and the open sky provide ambiance. Whether you’re into craft beers, ciders, or wines, or are looking for a chance to experience the province’s culinary creativity this “wandering gourmet harvest festival” includes items you won’t find on restaurant menus.

Local music draws guests from tent to tent, from one food encounter and lesson to the next.
Local music draws guests from tent to tent, from one food encounter and lesson to the next.

And, it’s not just the food that will leave you feeling good. The event is a fundraiser for FarmFolk CityFolk. Every dollar raised supports their mission: to cultivate sustainable food systems in British Columbia and build a market for local produce through celebration.

“It gives you the local flavour, people say, ‘wow, so that’s what it’s really like here. This is what fish from the Fraser River taste like, this is what grapes from local vines create, that’s what food by BCs top restaurants is like.’ And it’s all in one place,” said Nicholas Scapillati, executive director of FarmFolk CityFolk.

Scapillati (right) in a well-suited straw hat talks with Canadian celebrity chef Trevor Bird of Vancouver’s Fable (Farm to Table) restaurant.
Scapillati (right) in a well-suited straw hat talks with Canadian celebrity chef Trevor Bird of Vancouver’s Fable (Farm to Table) restaurant.

Ever try bacon jam? Cornbread made with honey from bees buzzing nearby? How about a glass of Syrah wine produced on BCs Black Sage Bench (a small interior region known for its reds)? Every dish connects you with the full flavour of the people and places that crafted it.

Nothing is sweeter than these Goldstrike Honey mini cornbreads, featuring Forma Nova beets and pears, topped with buttermilk fluid gel and red veined sorrel (freshly clipped right in front of you) from Vancouver’s Ritual eatery.
Nothing is sweeter than these Goldstrike Honey mini cornbreads, featuring Forma Nova beets and pears, topped with buttermilk fluid gel and red veined sorrel (freshly clipped right in front of you) from Vancouver’s Ritual eatery.
Zen garden pâté anyone? Rabbit and goat cheese pâté spheres rolled in toasted and puffed grains, seeds, and meadow flower petals from Uru Cuisine at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.
Zen garden pâté anyone? Rabbit and goat cheese pâté spheres rolled in toasted and puffed grains, seeds, and meadow flower petals from Uru Cuisine at the Fairmont Pacific Rim.

Vancouver’s Forage restaurant is a natural participant. Their chef is a fisherman, forager, hunter, and even keeps bees. They minimize food waste by using every part of the produce served, including repurposing gnocchi peelings to make potato skins. Like Feast of Fields, the restaurant has experts on staff to answer locavore questions, from sourcing organic vegetables to the environmental impacts of mono-cropping and multi-cropping.

Forage provides dinner and a show. Their Glorious Organics vegetables were fire roasted in a tumbler over an open fire right on site. They were then skewered and topped with a foraged green verde and walnut romesco sauce.
Forage provides dinner and a show. Their Glorious Organics vegetables were fire roasted in a tumbler over an open fire right on site. They were then skewered and topped with a foraged green verde and walnut romesco sauce.

“It’s an event where people get to be curious and ask questions about their food. They bring back stories about where it came from and who made it,” said Margot Baloro, restaurant operations manager at Forage. “People who come are keen, they want to learn as much as they can. It’s fun and it’s different and it feels good to do good.”

And, it looks good too. Terra Bread offered a flaky butter croissant with fromage frais from The Farm House Natural Cheeses and nectarine preserve made from Parsons Farm fruits.
And, it looks good too. Terra Bread offered a flaky butter croissant with fromage frais from The Farm House Natural Cheeses and nectarine preserve made from Parsons Farm fruits.

Where can you find more local produce? What can you cook with seasonal vegetables or pasteurized meats? Guests get answers to their farming and cooking questions right from the source. Chefs, beverage crafters, and farmers are on hand to personally field them.

Head Cheese Rillettes sourced from the pigs at Urban Digs Farm on a flax cracker with beer mustard, pickled Klippers Organics cucumbers, and Qualicum blue cheese.
Head Cheese Rillettes sourced from the pigs at Urban Digs Farm on a flax cracker with beer mustard, pickled Klippers Organics cucumbers, and Qualicum blue cheese.
Chefs team up to serve up Black Apron beef brisket tacos: Earth Apple Farms tomato-chickpea and guanciale stew, Barnston Island micro cilantro, and yuzu aioli from the Hyatt Regency Vancouver kitchen.
Chefs team up to serve up Black Apron beef brisket tacos: Earth Apple Farms tomato-chickpea and guanciale stew, Barnston Island micro cilantro, and yuzu aioli from the Hyatt Regency Vancouver kitchen.

“Farmers know best. I ask them what they have, what they need me to use. I don’t dictate. For the event, Laurica Farm had some pigs’ heads so I wood-fired them and made tacos,” said chef Adrian Beaty, a participating chef. “I kind of go with the flow. I was just at a farmer’s market and found someone nearby growing (hot) peppers that I’m using in the BBQ sauce. Normally, they are brought in from China or abroad. I was like ‘Whoa! You have this here, great!’”

Guests wander, wine glass and napkin in hand between food tents, into greenhouses, and even to workshops including beer and cheese making.
Guests wander, wine glass and napkin in hand between food tents, into greenhouses, and even to workshops including beer and cheese making.

Beaty first saw that there was so much more to food while watching a cooking show years ago. It featured a chef talking to a farmer about growing and using peppers. There was a clear connection between people, land, and nutrition. Since then, he’s educated others on how to find and cook with produce that’s available locally. His most recent find: a nearby farm that grows spinach, kale and other greens all winter long.

Meet your (food) maker and join the Farm Folk for a day.
Meet your (food) maker and join the Farm Folk for a day.

Before the 100 Mile Diet, before farmer’s markets were popular, there was Feast of Fields. Envisioned as a “roving picnic on a working farm” the festival is thriving today. It celebrated 22 years and 50 feasts this year and has attracted hundreds of locavores and culinary curious guests to the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan, and to Vancouver Island.

Jim Carmen (right) was at the very first Feast of Fields and hasn’t missed one since: “I grew up on a farm so I really enjoying being out here. That, and I just love good food.”
Jim Carmen (right) was at the very first Feast of Fields and hasn’t missed one since: “I grew up on a farm so I really enjoying being out here. That, and I just love good food.”

You’ll leave the festival with fresh ideas for restaurants to try and knowledge about the bounty available in BC. Bring your appetite for learning and a straw hat next year and drop by a Feast of Fields event.

glass-food-tray

Meet FarmFolk CityFolk and Feast of Fields:

Feast of Fields is a four hour wandering gourmet harvest festival that highlights the connections between farmers and chefs, field and table, and between farm folks and city folks. With a wine glass and linen napkin in hand, guests stroll across a farmer’s field, traveling from tent to tent (sometimes through the barn, past the tractor or around the chicken coup) listening to live music, and tasting gourmet creations from BC top chefs, farmers, fishers, ranchers, food artisans, vintners, brewers, distillers and other beverage producers.
www.feastoffields.com

Meet Laurica Farm:

Laurica Farm is a five acre family farm in Aldergrove, BC. “We started our farm in 2013 after feeling disenchanted with the food industry – we wanted to stage a personal food revolution. Since then we have built a ‘farm family’ around us, gathering people who share our values. From foodies, to nutritionists, to locavores, to ethical shoppers, our customers have a shared vision about what their food choices should look (and taste) like.”
lauricafarm.com

Meet Fraser Common Farm:

Through a unique balance of food production, habitat conservation, communal and individual housing, and a sincere desire for long term sustainability – this is a social and community experiment, a work in progress, and a dream come true. “The food tastes really great. We grow certified organic food, including pre-cut salads, vegetables, culinary herbs, edible flowers, fruit and market vegetables. We care about the food we grow, and the land upon which we live.”
www.frasercommonfarm.com

By Catherine Dunwoody

Say oui! Western Canada’s largest francophone festival for 27 years is back for another fun weekend of all things French Canadian – right in Coquitlam, BC.

From March 4 to 6, 2016, the Festival du Bois showcases our fabulous and proudly French traditions and culture in Canada by way of the real deal when it comes to food, traditional music, entertainment and fun activities.

fdb-boy

Taking place in Coquitlam’s Mackin Park the fest is definitely family-friendly and very affordable. Kick off the festival at Dîner en Plaid, with its traditional French Canadian cuisine, and rollicking music from a New Brunswick band. Plaid dress code in effect? Absolument! Be sure and sip a pint of the signature craft beer, French Lumberjack Ale, from Port Moody’s Yellow Dog Brewing – especially while you cheer on participants in the arm wrestling competition and saw contests. Salut!

yellow-dog

Festival du Bois is known for its world-class entertainment as well. Between the Big Tent, the Children’s Tent and the Workshop Tent, there are more than enough options to keep you dancing, singing along, or learning something.

What would this festival be without traditional Québécois fare? Tuck into a dish of gooey, cheesy poutine, some stick-to-your-ribs tourtière, or a slice of maple sugar pie. An absolute must stop is the André Beauregard Sugar Shack for maple taffy twisted and pulled before a captive audience. The Sunday morning pancake breakfast feeds even the hungriest French lumberjack, make sure you don’t miss this one.

pops

The Big Tent is a shoppers paradise, with booths loaded up with pottery, fragrant soaps, and linens from Provence, olive wood treasures, French preserves and of course Olivier’s Breads.

Stop at other booths that represent everyone from the Fraser Valley Metis Association to the Canadian Parents for French Society.

On Saturday & Sunday, the Youth Zone comes alive with entertainment like the Franco-Columbian Improvisation League. New this year is the Junior A Hockey Club’s street hockey area, open to all ages and skill levels, plus the Vancouver Aquarium’s new Aquavan, for an up close look and what lives in the deep blue sea. Turn back time, and walk into the 1913 built Magasin Proulx – the general store and post office that once was the centre of village life in Maillardville.

dancing

However you decide to spend the fest – enjoy! It’s such a proud part of our Canadian heritage!

Festival du Bois, March 4 – 6 2016
Mackin Park, 1046 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam

www.festivaldubois.ca

 Header image of poutine is by Quinn Dombrowski | Flickr